How would you identify an attitude or a skill?

April 18, 2000
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BIG RAPIDS, MI — At an April 7 meeting of the Ferris State University (FSU) Advisory Com-mittee, committee members had a face-to-face discussion with FSU students regarding the definitions of character traits. Members formed a panel and talked with students about attitudes and skills.

With impending graduation and interview sessions on-going, students were asked to talk about positive traits while panel members equated the importance of positive traits to the chances of finding the job they are seeking.

“Attitude is an important trait we look at when talking with new hires,” said Charles Jacobs of Behler-Young Co., Grand Rapids, MI. “We look for a positive outlook and good work ethic. A good attitude also influences one’s rewards and compensation.”

Students listed several traits which could be called attitudes or skills. What follows are some of their responses.


  • Persistence
  • Dedication
  • Enthusiasm
  • Willingness to learn
  • Honesty
  • Hard working
  • Reliability


  • Leadership
  • Good communicator
  • Organization
  • Efficiency
  • Accountability (also an attitude trait)
  • Adaptivity (also an attitude trait)

Russell Borst of the Holwerda-Huizenga Co., Grand Rapids added that, “A service tech’s attitude is a very important part of the business.”

All of the panel members agreed that their companies look for good attitude and skill traits in their new hires.

Robert Nash of Tyler Refrigera-tion Corp., Niles, MI, said self-confidence and “fit” are very important traits in new hires. “We look for self-confidence without too much cockiness,” he explained. “We also look to see how a new person will fit into our team concept.”

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